I was where I was supposed to be, UCLA, California

Why don’t we just go, regardless? It could be really easy, but it could also be quite complex, depending on how we want it to be.

Sometimes, one small thing could be the key for even greater things. This is a story of what hit me to actually start going out there, in spite of facing a few (intimidating yet manageable) bumps along the way. If you’ve read my previous post, then let me share with you what really drove me to go to USA. A very simple and unlikely reason for probably 99% of the world’s population. Something that might sound lame for most, yet understandable for some who are on the same page as me.

Before getting into it, I must tell you, I am a huge fan of Incubus (since 1999, I think). And to save face from looking like a fan-tard, I feel that I am obliged to assure you that I’m past the phase of what the younger girls would’ve hoped for. I consider myself as a “mature” fan. 😀 No judging please. 😛 Different strokes… 😉

Here it goes…

5 years ago, I never really thought I would be flying to the US that soon. With life still starting to happen, it wasn’t even in my book yet. It would’ve needed to wait until 3-5 years later. That’s how far I see it off my realistic life assessment. But somehow, Michael Einziger’s show changed that.


Michael Einziger is this awesome guitarist of Incubus who decided to go to Harvard to further his musical skills and learn physics. He eventually, would do more projects with his band and with other artists to contribute more creative inputs to the world of music.

With him having a one night only show at UCLA called End.>Vacuum, the one where he would showcase his orchestral compositions, I was really desperate yet still unwilling to go through the process needed for me to fly. Quite almost but still wasn’t enough. However, they’ve added an after party invite to a few chosen ones (a pair of passes to be awarded for each country visited by Incubus), and this just made it even more! This was a great motivation and I knew I had to be there. It was something that I couldn’t just pass up.

S/W Ver: 98.30.72AMe with Michael Einziger at the after party of his show. I’ve managed to mumble only a few words. Go figure.

I knew I am unqualified to join that ticket+after party contest because one of the requirements was a proof of being able to travel to that country, and even if I get one, I won’t make it to the deadline. But lo and behold, an Incu-friend (Aissa) of mine was traveling to the US and we managed to convince her to join! What’s another 4000 km anyway? With that, we promised that if I ever make it on time to the US, I will be here +1. I couldn’t be any happier.

Aissa, my Incu-friend and myself at End.>Vacuum

But getting there was not that easy. Cramming for all the requirements last minute, booking for the visa interview and rebooking more than twice just to get a last-minute earlier appointment, accepting the fact that a huge chunk of my savings would be used to pay for the “peak season” flights, making sure my boss is okay with me going for a while, getting all the positivity and confidence that I wouldn’t fail the interview– these were some of the “bumps” that I had to face. But then again, nothing unmanageable, right?

Fast forward to 2 months later, I had that nostalgic feeling of arriving at UCLA. I cringed after setting foot at the campus grounds. It felt so inviting. And big!

UCLA grounds.

I got to watch my first orchestra show, met my favorite guitarist and the rest of the band, got starstruck with some of the familiar faces that I have only seen on M/TV/Movie (to name a few, there’s Anne Hathaway, Adam Goldberg, and Jared Leto), and last but not the least, spent an awesome time with my Incu-friend and met other Incubus fans as well.

End.>Vacuum show at Royce Hall, UCLA

It would’ve seemed that it was the highlight of my life. It probably was, back then. But what I didn’t know was that it was just the start of my future wanderings. I am one lucky kid, and I am very grateful for that.

The combination of desire, luck, fate, blessing, and action paved the way for me to not just go to the show, but it also made me see a different side of the world. It made me have a look at something very different from what I’ve been used to. It made me taste a different culture and that “shock” I got from it made me crave for more. It made me look forward to my future wanders.

As simple as the kick starter might seem to be, that drove me to greater travel possibilities that I had never even imagined. That was my “if not now, when?” moment. If I had answered “later”, then who knows what might have happened now?

“We are exactly where we’re supposed to be.” — Indeed! And if we make the most of what we have and where we are right now, fate, together with how we respond to our desires will help us be where we are supposed to be.

After the show, still nostalgic before heading home

*most of the photos were taken by my friend, Aissa because I didn’t bring my DSLR, but was enhanced by yours truly 🙂

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7 thoughts on “I was where I was supposed to be, UCLA, California

  1. I’ve always heard that UCLA has a wonderful campus to visit, but I’ve never really considered going there for any purpose because of my aversion to traffic (and LA’s high amount of it). I would have been most excited about the orchestra show, personally.

    1. UCLA is a very inviting campus. After seeing it, I imagined what it was actually like to study there… The orchestra show was really nice. But I later on realized that this type of music is beyond my simple taste.

  2. hi kate,
    at times that’s what its all about, listening to one’s inner voice which guide us and passion to see it through.

    best regards,

  3. It’s amazing sometimes where our small (okay, I am LYING) fandom can take us. United States trip to see Mike Einziger and support him for his end.>vacuum show.. if I were in your shoes, up to now I still probably would not have move on from this small accomplishment.

    Add the fact that you went through a little hassle w/ the trip process (visas and all), and finally getting over it makes you feel like the whole trip itself was well-deserved after all that. 😛

    1. indeed! 🙂 it is something that will hold a very special place in my heart, always. and i will forever be grateful for that. ^_^ i wish we’re exaggerating about our “fandom” though! haha

  4. […] for that matter. After all, I got to see a few from the show I attended the night before (here) unexpectedly. But come to think, to see one in the Hollywood walk of fame would be really […]

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